Space

Astronomers viewing the asteroid belt with the Hubble Telescope havd found an asteroid with six comet-like tails of dust radiating from it like spokes on a wheel.

P/2013 P5 is different from all other known asteroids. It looks kind of like a rotating lawn sprinkler.

P/2013 P5 has been ejecting dust periodically for at least five months. Astronomers believe it is possible the asteroid's rotation rate increased to the point where its surface started flying apart. They do not believe the tails are the result of an impact with another asteroid because they have not seen a large quantity of dust blasted into space all at once.


Black holes, with gravitational forces so strong that not even light can escape them, come in a variety of sizes.

On the smaller end of the scale are the stellar-mass black holes that are formed during the deaths of stars. At the larger end are supermassive black holes, which contain up to one billion times the mass of our sun. Over billions of years, small black holes can slowly grow into the supermassive variety by taking on mass from their surroundings and also by merging with other black holes.

But this slow process can't explain the problem of supermassive black holes existing in the early universe; such black holes would have formed less than one billion years after the Big Bang.

New findings may help to test a model that solves this puzzle.


Two black holes in a collection of stars known as a globular cluster are not unique - another black hole candidate has been found in globular cluster M62.


The globular cluster M62 is located in the constellation Ophiuchus, about 22,000 light years from Earth. Black holes are stars that have died, collapsed into themselves and now have such a strong gravitational field that not even light can escape from them.

Until recently, astronomers had assumed that the black holes did not occur in globular clusters, which are some of the oldest and densest collections of stars in the universe. Stars are packed together a million times more closely than in the neighborhood of our sun.


The Smith Cloud, a gigantic streamer of hydrogen gas, is on a collision course with the Milky Way Galaxy., hurtling toward its doom at more than 540,000 miles per hour.

But that means the impact will happen in approximately 30 million years. Yet when it does, it will set off a spectacular burst of star formation.

All is not lost, though. It would first have to navigate through the halo of hot ionized gas surrounding the Milky Way, and to do that it has a secret weapon: A magnetic field deep in the cloud's interior which may protect it during its meteoric plunge into the disk. 


Kepler-78b is a planet that shouldn't exist because the blazing hot lava world circles its star every 8.5 hours at a distance of less than one million miles - one of the tightest known orbits. According to current beliefs about planet formation, it couldn't have formed so close to its star, nor could it have moved there.

Kepler-78b a mystery world. And it is doomed. 


A newly discovered planet, Kepler-78b, is in the constellation of Cygnus but it's a lot like Earth. If Earth were 2,000 degrees hotter and orbited the sun every 8 hours. 

But otherwise it is a lot like our planet, about 20% larger and 169% of our mass, and that makes it the smallest exoplanet to-date that has a confirmed mass and radius. The size is about the same, the density is about the same - and that's part of the mystery. How did it form so close to its star?

The sun emitted another significant solar flare, peaking at 5:54 p.m. on Oct. 29th, 2013  – the fourth X-class flare in the last week.

Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation and while the radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, when intense enough they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. The disruption to radio signals occurs for as long as the flare is ongoing, anywhere from minutes to hours.

This flare is classified as an X2.3 class flare. "X-class" denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc.


On Oct. 23rd, 2013, the sun emitted a solar flare, classified as an M9.4 flare on a scale from M1 to M9.9 - near the very top of the scale for M class flares.

Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, but when they are intense enough they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. Such radiation can disrupt radio signals for as long as the flare is ongoing, anywhere from minutes to hours.


The Boomerang Nebula is the coldest known object in the Universe; even colder than the faint afterglow of the Big Bang, which is the natural background temperature of space.


Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin may be former football rivals, but There's a new most distant galaxy ever found, created within 700 million years after the Big Bang.

The galaxy is z8_GND_5296. Unlike our Milky Way, which creates about 1 or 2 Sun-like stars every year or so, this newly discovered galaxy forms around 300 per year and was observed by the researchers as it was 13 billion years ago. Because the universe has been expanding the whole time, the researchers estimate the galaxy’s present distance to be roughly 30 billion light years away.